By Will Vandervort.
By Will Vandervort
Tajh Boyd says no one deserves to play more at Clemson than Cole Stoudt. That’s what the former Tigers’ quarterback said during a phone interview on Wednesday as he praised his former teammate as a harder worker, who is dedicated to the game and his team.
“All he does is work,” Boyd said. “He has been backing me up for what, three years now? And he never complained and he never does anything. The coaches said it was a quarterback competition coming into the spring, but he did not say anything. I know if that was me, and I consider myself as a guy that has high standards, and I was in the same situation as Cole, I don’t know if I could have dealt with the situation as good as Cole did.”
Yet Stoudt did not complain. He simply went to work and was as offensive coordinator Chad Morris said, “Steady Eddie.” Stoudt was named the starting quarterback at Clemson on Tuesday by head coach Dabo Swinney after he showed great leadership and poise during the 15 practices this spring.
That’s the same poise and leadership Boyd noticed every time Stoudt came in for him in the last three years, whether it was mop up duty or on one of those rare occasions Boyd left the game due to an injury.
“Think about it. Every time I got out of the game all he did was go compete, lead the team down the field and go score,” Clemson’s all-time passing leader said. “He went out there and helped us win games.”
Stoudt has played in 22 games in his Clemson career and his numbers are solid, though most came in mop up duty. He has completed 86 of 119 passes for 742 yards and eight touchdowns against one interception. He has completed 72.3 percent of his passes and has an efficiency rating of 145.1 – second best in school history.
In 2013, he was 47 of 59 for 415 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions. He led the nation in completion percentage at 79.7 percent and had a 166.7 pass efficiency rating, which included a 19 of 20 afternoon for 143 yards and three touchdowns against S.C. State. His 95 percent completion percentage set a school record.
“I’m just hoping that the season works out for us and definitely for him because he deserves it,” Boyd said. “The guy was a great teammate to me. He helped me out during games. He helped me out during the season.
“The guy just pushes himself to another level. I don’t know how good his spring practice was. I don’t if he was good at all, but at the same time, I do know what type of player he is and what kind of character he has, and I know he can help this team win games.”
In the spring game, Stoudt was again very efficient as he completed 15 of 23 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns in leading his White team to a win over the Orange. Again, he threw no interceptions.
“I’m sure there will be competition between him and Deshaun (Watson) this summer, but Cole has been waiting for this moment for a while now,” Boyd said. “I feel like he is poised and he is ready. Whenever the coaches feel like Deshaun is ready to take over then he will take over.
“I’m sure he will do a great job. I got a chance to see him in practice and I got a chance to be with him this spring. You know how I feel about Deshaun. He is going to be an unbelievable player. It looks like for now, it is Cole’s time. Personally, I think it should be.”